Early Signs of a Pressure Sore

Nursing Home Blog

Pressure sores, also known as bed sores, can be very dangerous. If left untreated, they can cause infection, loss of limbs or even death. They are unfortunately common, affecting 65 percent of seniors who have hip fractures and 11 percent of all nursing home residents. Pressure sores can be caused by nursing home abuse and neglect, often due to understaffing.

Pressure sores develop when people stay in one position for too long. Nursing home residents who are confined to their beds or wheelchairs need staff to reposition them periodically. This should happen at least once every couple of hours. In understaffed facilities or in facilities where staff members are not adequately trained, residents may not be repositioned often enough.

Spotting Pressure Sores Early On

If your loved one is a nursing home resident, it’s important to learn the warning signs of pressure sores. If a pressure sore is caught early on, before the skin ruptures, you have the best chance of preventing serious complications.

What to Look For

Pressure sores usually develop in bony areas of the body, including heels, ankles, hips, base of the pelvis, tailbone and the scalp. It’s smart to pay particular attention to these areas.

  • Look at the skin covering the bony areas and compare it to the way the skin looks in the surrounding areas. Warning signs of possible pressure sores include skin that is red, has a blue or purple tinge, is bruised or does not turn white when you press it.
  • Feel the skin in those areas. If there is a pressure sore, the skin may feel warmer or cooler than skin in the surrounding areas. It may also feel unusually hard, or as if it were filled with fluid.
  • Listen to your loved one. Complaints about tingling skin, itching or pain could be early warning signs of a pressure sore.

Elder Abuse Lawyers Can Help

If you suspect your loved one may have a pressure or bed sore in its early stages, it’s important they receive the proper care immediately, before the sore gets worse. You should talk to the administrator at the nursing home.

If the nursing home does not make the necessary changes in care right away, elder abuse lawyers can help. If the pressure sores have progressed beyond the early stages, you should also talk to a lawyer. Contact the elder abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere to find out more.